A very useful contribution to the debate around character and values. Many of the points resonate strongly with evidence emerging from our own work, and in particular around providing the space and opportunity for young people to critically engage with a wide range of values, to process these through experiential and meaningful learning and to filter, refine these to inform and shape their own character. With regards the key question as to whether character can be taught, I find myself reminded of the phrase ‘character can not be taught, only caught’
If this is so then as is pointed out in this piece, the role of the educator is vital. Whether they are consciously trying to impart character or not – they are. This is why we have focus so much on ensuring educators are given the time and space to explore values – their own, how they work, how they play out in schools and learning etc – for their own professional benefit ahead of pursuing poorly through through government mandates on values and character. This is important stuff, but is in danger of going the way of other important stuff and being overly regimented into ill-conceived and poorly understood tick boxes.
It is great to know others are asking important critical questions about this.